Discover the history of the Malta Railway at the Birchircara Railway Museum

Inaugurated this November, the Birchircara Railway Museum features Malta’s only surviving third-class passenger carriage, as well as tickets, pieces of luggage, and model trains.
Photo: The Malta Railway Foundation

The Malta Railway Foundation recently unveiled the new Birchircara Railway Museum, located in the Victorian railway station building within Ġnien l-Istazzjon in Birkirkara. Within it, visitors can see some fascinating objects related to the 48-year story of the railway in Malta.

The Birchircara Railway Museum — thus called because at the time of its inception in 1883, Birkirkara’s name was still spelt in an Italianised manner — tells the story of the Malta Railway through objects. 

Spanning 11km, from Valletta to Mdina, the Malta Railway was one of only two fetes related to the Mechanised Revolution, with the other being the Barrakka Lift. The railway itself revolutionised the way locals travelled between the two cities, reducing travelling time from three hours to just 30 minutes.

As such, this museum tells the story of how Malta became ever smaller through objects like tickets, photographs, pieces of vintage baggage, coins, model trains, scenes, and other related objects. Moreover, outside the Museum, visitors can also see one of the 33 third-class passenger carriages, with this being the only one that has survived into modernity.

For history fans, the museum’s official website has a wealth of information on the history of the railway in Malta, which as many of you will know, was aptly called Il-Vapur tal-Art.

The project was co-financed by the European Union and the Birkirkara Local Council.

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